Should you overhaul your existing deck or get a brand-new one? There are plenty of advantages to getting a re-decking that simply updates and even expands your current deck. Although, re-decking isn’t possible with every deck, particularly ones that are approaching the 20-year mark, and it isn’t right for everyone. Here is what you need to know to decide if you’d rather get a brand-new deck or fix up the one you have.
What is a Re-Deck?
Re-decking is when we remove most of your current deck and replace it with new materials. We remove the railing, decking, and stairs but keep the initial structure and frame the old deck was built with. You get a completely new look to the deck for less money and less hassle (because we don’t have to dig out any structural components.) Re-decking is faster and easier, but it doesn’t refresh the lifespan of the underlying deck frame/structure. As long as your deck frame isn’t passing the 20-year mark, re-decking is still possible.
What if you don’t know how old your deck is? What if you don’t know whether it even meets current building codes? We can come by and assess the current quality of your deck frame and let you know if we recommend you get a re-deck or if we think it isn’t a good idea for you.
Which Should You Choose?
You know you want to upgrade your deck, but you’re not sure if a re-decking is your best option. Here are some factors to consider.
- Cost: Normally, re-decking is the more cost-effective option. You spend less money when you do not change the structural components of the deck. However, those structural components will still wear out after about 20 years after they were installed. If you’re only five years away from that, you’d have to change the frame then. So, it may be more cost-effective for you to just do this now.
- New materials: When you choose a re-deck or a new deck, you can get all of the new materials that you like. The frame may not match the new materials when you have a re-decking. However, this usually isn’t an issue for most homeowners. The frame is not very visible.
- Time for installation: If your biggest priority is getting a functional deck in time for summer, for your home sale, or some other deadline, a re-decking is your best option. They’re faster because there is less work involved.
- Overall hassle: When you get a new deck, we need to dig out the old supporting posts and put new ones in. This can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you happen to have an elaborate garden right next to your deck. We’re very careful with property and plants, but re-decking can save you the annoyance of having your yard dug up a little.
- Expansion: What if you want to expand your deck? We can install new footing and frame for the expansion while leaving the old in place for the existing deck. So, we can add an expansion with a re-decking as well as with an all-new deck.
- Building codes: If your existing deck isn’t up to building codes, we need to fix it for either a re-decking or a new deck.
Signs Your Deck Structure Needs to be Replaced
Ultimately, a new deck is necessary if the structure of your existing deck is in poor condition, isn’t safe, or is approaching the 20-year mark. Here are some signs that your deck structure needs replacement:
- The deck feels soft or spongy when you walk on it
- The railing is loose or moves when you put weight on it
- It is made of soft or lower-quality wood, including pressure-treated wood
- It has visible rot, mold, mildew, or damage that would impact its strength
- The bottom of the posts or the outside of the frame is no longer in good condition
- There are pest infestations, particularly termites or other wood-eating bugs
- The wood no longer properly holds fasteners like screws and nails
Ready to Get a New Deck?
Whether you choose re-decking or a brand new deck for your greater St. Louis area home, the team at Lakeside Renovation & Design can help you. Learn more about our deck services, and check out our deck gallery for inspiration!